24th Oct, 2016

Sheeps’ return a boost for flowers

Evesham Editorial 30th Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

SHEEP are set to return to a Pershore beauty spot in a bid to restore it to its once flower-rich paradise.

Following the results of extensive surveys at Avon Meadows, bosses at the nature reserve found the site had the potential to grow traditional flowers and plants featured at the wetland years ago.

Plants which could return to the area include Great Burnet, Lady’s Bedstraw and possibly the rare Snake’s Head Fritillary. As a

result the new plants would then attract more wildlife.

But for that process to happen, sheep are needed at the site to nibble off grass which would enable other plants to thrive.

Liz Etheridge, Wetlands for All Project Officer, said “By reintroducing autumn grazing, we are returning to the way Avon Meadows would have been managed in the past.

“Sheep are very good at nibbling off grass, something which we have a lot of, and we hope that by reducing the amount of grass we have, it will give other plants a chance to thrive.

“As the meadows become richer in flowers, it will attract more insects like butterflies and bees to the area and make it an even more attractive nature reserve for us all to enjoy.”

“The sheep will be on the meadows until Christmas at the latest, to give them chance to graze off most of the grass. Working with a local farmer means he can be on hand quickly should the river threaten to rise to get the sheep to safer ground.”

Once the sheep have done their bit, the Friends of Avon Meadows plan to sow locally collected yellow rattle seed in some parts of the meadows.

The rattle is used to weaken grass and gives other flowers the chance to grow.